If one were to ask a mom of school-aged or even preschool children about vaccinations, there would most likely be a strong response for or against them. Childhood vaccinations have become a hot topic among the parents of the under-seven set, with most people decidedly very much against them or wholeheartedly supporting the typical schedule of shots.
There are few parents who straddle the fence on this issue, but it was not always this way.
The idea of not vaccinating one's child is a relatively recent occurrence. When the now-debunked research linking autism to the aggressive immunization schedule in early childhood first came about, parents feared unknowingly causing their child irreparable harm. Though that study was disproven, many parents still believe there is a connection.
Some also believe that introducing "live" viruses into their child's system is simply not healthy or necessary. Many parents think a case of the measles, chicken pox, or even whooping cough, are just ordinary childhood diseases and not ones children need to guard against.
Most doctors warn against such thinking though. In 2010, California saw its worst whooping cough epidemic in 50 years. While most people, particularly older children and adults, will only get an aggravating cough or what seems like a bad cold, this disease can be deadly for infants, which it was during the California outbreak.
While the parents who choose not to immunize their children may believe it is a personal decision, experts say that decision can harm other people, especially the very young and old, and those with compromised immune systems.
In a 2010 article for KPBS.org, Dr. Dean Sidelinger, the deputy public health officer for San Diego County, said he believes children who are not vaccinated are putting others at risk.